Waterparks: Impact fromCOVID-19 Pandemic in 2020and Recovery in 2021David J. Sangree, MAI, CPA, ISHC, Hotel & Leisure AdvisorsEvan Barnett, Typhoon TexasDameon Nelson, Six Flags EntertainmentCatie Christner, Great Wolf LodgeNick Scott Sr., Scott Enterprises
About the SpeakersDavid J. Sangree, PresidentDavid is a 1984 graduate of the CornellUniversity School of Hotel Administration, anMAI designated appraiser with the AppraisalInstitute, a member of the International Societyof Hospitality Consultants and a CertifiedPublic Accountant.Evan Barnett, General ManagerEvan is a 24-year veteran of the waterparkindustry. He holds a Bachelor of Science inBusiness Administration from CaliforniaState University, Sacramento, and an MBAfrom the University of Texas at DallasCatie Christner, Corporate Risk & AquaticsManagerCatie has worked for Great Wolf Lodge for nearly 17years, working at multiple properties and at thecorporate level. She is a graduate of VirginiaCommonwealth University.Dameon Nelson, Senior Director of CorporateOperationsDameon is responsible for Rides, Aquatics, ParkServices, Guest Services, and Entertainment acrossall Six Flags parks. Before beginning his corporaterole, Dameon was the Director of Operations at SixFlags Great Adventure in New Jersey.Nick Scott, Sr., President/OwnerNick is a 1963 graduate of Cornell University School of HotelAdministration. He built the family business into 28 locations inNorthwestern PA and Western NY with over 2,000 employees.Their portfolio includes hotels, conference/banquetservices, restaurants as well as Splash Lagoon Indoor WaterPark Resort and Peek'n Peak Resort.
David J. Sangree, MAI, CPA, ISHCPresident of Hotel & Leisure Advisors
COVID-19 Impact on U.S. WaterparksCOVID-19 crisis has had a significant negative effect on the waterpark industry.Many outdoor waterparks delayed their season openings in 2020 while othersdecided, or were mandated, not to open at all. Many indoor waterpark resortsand standalone indoor waterparks were forced to close for several months orlonger.Impact of COVID-19 on U.S. Waterpark Attendance20192020ImpactPercentStandalone Indoor and Outdoor ts with Indoor and Outdoor 00,00050,600,000-83,900,000-62%TotalSource: Hotel & Leisure Advisors, LLC, March 2021
COVID-19 Impact on U.S. WaterparksStandalone Indoor and Outdoor Waterparks 1.4 billion in lost revenue 61.2 million in lost attendanceIndoor and Outdoor Waterpark Resorts 2.3 billion in lost revenue 22.7 million in lost attendance
U.S. Indoor Waterparks Open During COVID-192020 Open Indoor Waterparks as a Percentage of Total Supply90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%0%77.9% 77.9%67.4%38.4%82.6%81.4%60.7%34.5%22.1%19.7%3.4% 2.0%May 14May 28Jun 11MunicipalSource: Hotel & Leisure AdvisorsJun 25PrivateJul 9Aug 20
U.S. Outdoor Waterparks Open During COVID-192020 Open Outdoor Waterparks as a Percentage of Total 6%71.2%47.4%20.3%10%0%Jun 11Jun 25MunicipalSource: Hotel & Leisure AdvisorsJul 9PrivateAug 18
Impact on U.S. Amusement & Waterpark CompaniesHistorical Attendance and Per Capita SpendingNational Amusement CompaniesSix FlagsAttendance (Million)Per Capita Spending20206.8 52.52201932.8 45.34201832.0 42.58201730.4 41.61201630.1 41.07201528.6 41.60Cedar Fair Entertainment Co.Attendance (Million)Per Capita Spending2020201920182017201620152.6 46.3827.9 48.3225.9 47.6925.7 47.3025.1 46.9024.4 46.20SeaWorld Parks and EntertainmentAttendance (Million)Per Capita Spending2020201920182017201620156.4 67.7522.6 61.8022.6 60.7720.8 60.7422.0 61.1022.5 61.01Source: Six Flags, Cedar Fair, and SeaWorld Annual Reports
2021 Projections for North America Openings2021 Waterpark Openings by lonePrivateSource: Hotel & Leisure Advisors, LLC, September 2021Total
2021 Projections for North America Openings2021 Waterpark Openings by Region252120151110105085203200Midwest NortheastSouthIndoorWestOutdoorSource: Hotel & Leisure Advisors, LLC, September 20210CanadaTotal
2021 Major Waterpark Additions After a postponement from 2020, Great Wolf Resorts opened its new Manteca,California resort, which offer 500 rooms and a 95,000-square-foot waterpark. Baha Mar Resort in Nassau added the 200 million Baha Bay outdoorwaterpark adjacent to the SLS and Melia Hotels. It opened in July 2021 andincludes a wide range of rides and attractions. The City of El Paso, Texas, opened four new themed waterparks between Mayand July 2021 featuring slides, lazy rivers, climbing walls, and cabanas. Onewaterpark includes a surf machine.
Forecasts by H&LA Waterpark industry in U.S. will return to pre-COVID-19 attendance pandemiclevels by 2023 assuming COVID-19 is under control. Customers will be willing to pay higher admission prices for waterparks in 2022and beyond as they have done in 2021 at many properties. Continued moderate growth in supply of standalone and resort properties. Growth in type and scope of amenities at various waterparks.
Evan BarnettGeneral Manager of Typhoon Texas
Ticket Sales Overview 20206/15
2020 Season summaryYear w/ COVID ShutdownC O V I D C L O S E D D AY S W I T H R A I N D AY SWettest yearon 016July2017August20182019September2020
2020 Season SummaryWins Park Readiness: Typhoon Texas was poised and ready toopen with industry leading operations and marketing plans. Challenges Controlling Operating Expenses: The operating budget wasdrastically reduced due to the COVID impact and actualscame in far under budget.COVID‐19: The virus created unknown operatingenvironments and an inability to plan properly. The ever‐changing restrictions and guest communication causedunknown market demand. In‐Park Per Caps: Food and beverage per cap increased by 1.31 and retail per cap increased by 0.29.Technology: Technology had to be altered to accommodateour operations while meeting new government guidelines. Reduced Calendar: Reduction of 20 pre‐season operatingdays due to the COVID‐19 lockdown. Staff Morale: Staffing retention was high. The team forgeda path with new operating standards appropriate to theCOVID‐19 environment. Guest Satisfaction: Guest service metrics improved acrossall social media platforms while overall industry guestsatisfaction decreased in 2020.
Strategic Plan during COVID & BeyondZero based budgetapproachRe‐bid process with allvendorsPublic Relations –leveragecommunicationRe‐ allocation of ourspend –i.e. BridgecontractLooking into newcreative marketingtrendsValue Propositionfocused on maximizecapacity with Revenue
2021 Season InitiativesWinsChallenges Pricing Increase: The plan for 2021 is to slightly increaseadmission prices through the dynamic pricing platform andhigher average season pass prices. Competition is closelymonitored. Tighter Cost Controls: We are committed to managing costseffectively and reducing operating expenses in order to increasenet operating income. This is the primary objective for the 2021season. Simple Season Pass Structure: Simplified the Max Plus seasonpass offerings, with an overall objective to increase theaverage season pass sales price. Labor Quality: Our Team members quality of employee wassacrificed. General Guest Satisfaction: Our guest mix was met withdifferent expectations that in previous years. Guest Experience – Was challenging to meet guest expectationswith operational and different training protocols. Marketing Effectiveness: Carlberg will continue to guide themarketing strategy, building on the strong brand equity andfocusing on the value message.Labor Acquisition: Recruitment efforts were minimized bywork culture.
Ticket Per Cap:UP 67% over 2020 or 11.17 increase to 27.7260% over 2020
1,078% over previous year.Actual vs. 2020 Goal
RevenueOverall Revenue outpaced 2020 by 143% or aper cap increased by 46%.In park revenue outpaced 2020 by 98% or a percap increased 23%. 17.42 12.02 4.17 1.2313.5% yoy60% yoy32% yoy
Dameon NelsonSenior Director of Corporate Operations Six Flags EntertainmentAwaiting slides*
Catie ChristnerCorporate Risk and Aquatic Manager –Great Wolf Lodge
Agenda Occupancy Considerations Labor and Staffing– Issues and Solutions Security Changes Sustained Items
Occupancy Considerations State/Local RequirementsIndustrial Engineer EvaluationsMedical AdvisorsStaffing Levels
Labor Issues– Staffing– Morale– Brand Reputation
Labor Solutions– Zone Validation Project– Market Wage Analysis Summer incentive program– Centralized Incentive Program– Automation Opportunities
Security Changes Code Green (Physical Altercation)– Increased YOY– Introduction of new “Code Green – Emergency”(physical altercation with weapon present).– De-Escalation Training and SOP update– Additional Cameras
Sustained Items Launch Logic Capacity Tracking– Allows for additional day pass sales Cashless Transactions– Improved loss prevention and revenues Expedited App Development– Includes in-house food ordering– Mobile check-in Public Area Enhancements– Zone cleaning
Nick Scott, Sr.President & Owner, Scott Enterprises
Nick Scott Sr.President & Owner, Scott Enterprises3rd Generation, Family-OwnedChris N. Scott, Vice PresidentNick Scott Jr., Vice President27 Business Locations in NorthwestPennsylvania and Western New YorkEntertaining an estimated 4 MillionGuest Experiences Each Year
Splash Lagoon Indoor Water ParkOpened in 2003.Estimated 300,000 guests annually.Connected to three luxury hotels andHooch & Blotto’s Sports Bar.“Weatherproof Family Fun”throughout all four seasons.
Impact of COVID-19 Water Park RevenueGuest CountAverage ADRPer Cap2020-38%-21%-10%-30%
New Attraction Launched XD Dark Ride Multisensory Theater Opened 5/7/21 Approx. 41,000 Revenue in 100Operating Days Average of 407 in Revenue eachOperating Day.
Improved Amenities Converted under-utilized space intoTreasure Island Ice Cream Parlorand Gemstone Mining Opened 5/28/21 Approx. 27,000 Revenue in 100Operating Days
Operational Challenges Currently operating with 50-60% ofour normal staff size. Creating new employee incentives &loyalty bonus for working during ourbusiest periods. Recognizing & celebratingaccomplishments like Ellis &Associates Golden Guard Award
Dameon NelsonSenior Director of Corporate Operations,Six Flags Entertainment
Six Flags Waterparks Six Flags employed severaltechniques to combat thechallenges of operating in aCOVID world, emergingfrom extended closures,ever-changing localrequirements across the USand accelerated paths toreopening in 2021.
Staffing & Availability Challenges The single biggest challenge was staffing ourLifeguard roles.– We simply could not find enough people to fill our shifts. Comfort, Incentives, Unemployment– International Program was decimated. We depend heavily on J1 and H2B Visas– Training moving to remote and smaller in person classes. Classes had to start earlier and show up rate decreased by25% creating a longer runway– Pools not available for rental Lacked facilities to train in colder climates
Staffing & Availability Recovery The single biggest challenge was staffing ourLifeguard roles.– Pay Rate Increases, Covering costs of uniforms andcertifications, Short and Long Term Incentives. Staffcross utilization. Earlier recruitment push.– Decreasing dependency on International Students bybeing more aggressive domestically. Use assupplemental.– Embraced new remote and self guided trainingprograms to speed up on boarding. Streamlined hiringprocess via SMS messaging.– Partnering with more facilities to increase training facilityoptions.
Operational Challenges Changing protocols during the pandemicchallenged us to revaluate how we operate forthe better.– Capacity Restrictions Large attractions were atsubstantially reduced capacity.– Operating Supplies Equipment was simply not availablein a timely manner. Waited monthsfor simple items.– Guest Temperament Guests were angrier and escalatedto physicality against staff and eachother.
Operational Recovery Changing protocols during the pandemicchallenged us to revaluate how we operate.– Attraction Operations (Tubes, LifeguardPlacement Optimization, Consolidatingpositions, Capacity Controls, Signage)– Consolidating Op Supply ordering effortsacross parks and decreasing inventory.Still a significant challenge (tubes andlifejackets)– Significantly increased Security includingadding 3rd party vendors along with DeEscalation Training for Leadership.
Six Flags Waterparks Six Flags has weathered the storm and whilethere is no question on the safety of ouroperations, we realized a opportunity to refocuson the fundamentals of aquatic operations dueto a significant staff turnaround includingLeadership.2021 was a tremendous success even with thechallenges and the accelerated openings.2022 will see increased stabilization and morecollaboration with Ellis and Associates with newtraining and operational review programs tocontinue to enhance our operations in the newworld.
Northwestern PA andWestern NY with over 2,000 employees. Their portfolio includes hotels, conference/banquet services,restaurantsas well asSplash LagoonIndoor Water ParkResortandPeek'nPeak Resort. Evan Barnett, General Manager Evan is a 24-year veteran of the waterpark industry. Heholds a Bachelorof Science in Business Administration from .